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SUPCO Upholds Constitutionality Of Sex Offender Label

Clark County Sheriff's Office

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that requiring convicted sex offenders to register and check in with authorities is not cruel and unusual punishment. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

The justices upheld the mandatory label put on Travis Blankenship of Clark County, convicted in 2012 of having sex with a 15 year old when he was 21. In the majority opinion, the justices said the sex offender requirements weren’t grossly disproportionate and that the minor’s consent is not a viable defense. They agreed with County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Saunders, who argued the case in March, telling the court: “Mr. Blankenship committed a crime. He was 21. He had sex with a 15 year old. And as part of that, he’s a sex offender.”  
But Justice Paul Pfeifer thought the 25-year reporting requirement was disproportionate, and Justice William O’Neill felt this was an example of what he called “one-size-fits-all mentality” in the criminal justice system.

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